The Grand Rapids Film Festival will include projects from around the world. The festival will focus on approximately thirty films including foreign films, children's features, and animated motion pictures. EGM president Bill Oechsler commented, “It’s an honor to have a film selected to be part of a film festival with such a broad interest for our community. That two of our films have been recognized is incredibly humbling.”
The Grandfathers follows the journey of Jesse Saint, a young man searching for his identity among the stone-age tribe that murdered his grandfather. By befriending three tribal elders who took part in the killing, Jesse learns profound lessons about his identity and destiny. What begins as a quest for personal significance becomes a tribute to dignity, forgiveness, and purpose. This motion-graphics film completes the inspiring trilogy begun with Beyond the Gates of Splendor and followed by End of the Spear. The Grandfathers was recently awarded the respected “5-Dove” rating from the Dove Foundation.
Miss HIV showcases women in Botswana participating in a stigma-free beauty pageant, college students in Uganda fighting the stigma of choosing to remain abstinent, and gay rights activists at an International AIDS Conference combating stigmatization. According to director Jim Hanon, “Miss HIV brings into the open the little-known struggle for dominance over AIDS education and prevention. It exposes the heated rhetoric, high stakes, and heavy toll this battle has taken.”
The film makes no judgment about the pageant that was held most recently in Vietnam. It also leaves open the question whether it innovatively counteracts shame, one of the largest obstacles in the battle against HIV/AIDS, or encourages behaviors that spread the disease. Hanon adds, “Miss HIV is unapologetic and courageous yet consistently inspiring. It helps shine a spotlight on competing agendas that are complicating an already complex global crisis.”
EthnoGraphic Media (EGM) is an educational non-profit (501c3) organization that explores the critical issues of our time. As a community of artists and filmmakers, EGM uses media to tell true stories of hope and compassion in the midst of suffering and strife. EGM believes that gaining a deeper understanding of the human condition inspires positive action. Recent projects include Little Town of Bethlehem, Miss HIV, and The Grandfathers as well as bestsellers End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates.